HAMILTON RUSSELL VINEYARDS Pinot Noir Hemel-en-Aarde 2020 Bottle
Red Still Wine | South Africa | South Africa - Hermanus | 75cl
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Closure Type: Cork
Country: South Africa
Region: South Africa - Hermanus
Wine Style: Medium Bodied
Grape: Pinot Noir
Hamilton Russell Vineyards – one of the most southerly wine Estates in Africa and one of the closest to the sea – pioneered viticulture and winemaking in the beautiful, cool, maritime Hemel-en-Aarde Valley appellation, just behind the old fishing village of Hermanus. The Estate specialises in producing highly individual, terroir driven Pinot noir and Chardonnay, which are widely regarded as the best in South Africa and among the finest in the New World.
Founder, Tim Hamilton Russell, purchased the undeveloped 170 hectare property in 1975, after an exhaustive search for the most southerly site on which to make South Africa’s top cool climate wines from a selection of noble varieties. His son, Anthony Hamilton Russell, who took over in 1991 (finally buying the property in 1994), narrowed the range to Pinot noir and Chardonnay only and registered Hamilton Russell Vineyards as an Estate, committing to work only with grapes from their terroir.
“We are not so much using Hamilton Russell Vineyards to make Pinot noir and Chardonnay as we are using Pinot noir and Chardonnay to express the beauty and personality of Hamilton Russell Vineyards. Our terroir, in effect, "chose" these varieties as its most individual and beautiful expression.” Anthony Hamilton Russell.
Extensive soil research initiated in 1994 identified 52 hectares of stony, clay-rich, shale-derived soil as optimal for the individual, origin expressive style they aim for and all plantings have now been limited to this soil type. Anthony with his wife Olive, winemaker Emul Ross and viticulturist Johan Montgomery are completely dedicated to expressing the personality of the Hamilton Russell Vineyards terroir in their wines. Tiny yields and intense worldwide demand keep the elegant, highly individual, Estate grown Pinot noir and Chardonnay in very short supply.
The 2020 Pinot Noir...
A highly positive situation. Yields were, as always, very low. Pinot noir came in at 3.32 tons/ha (21,5 hl/ha) and Chardonnay came in even lower at 2.68 tons/ha (16.9 hl/ha). The wines have a marked elegance, mineral purity and saline quality. A very exciting outcome despite weather challenges.
"Our low-vigour, stony, clay-rich soil, cool maritime mesoclimate, naturally tiny yields of well under 35 hl/ha and our philosophy of expressing our terroir in our wines – give rise to a certain tightness, tannin line and elevated length to balance the richness and generosity of our Pinot noir. Our Pinot noir is not overtly fruity, soft and “sweet” and it generally shows hints of that alluring savoury “primal” character along with a dark, spicy, complex primary fruit perfume."